Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Diasporic Dining: Restaurant Acoustics in the Age of Coronavirus

Bawabet Dimashq in Syria (the largest restaurant in the world)
Anecdotal reports of oneiric activity in scattered demographics suggest that many individuals are dreaming about eating in restaurants. From a psychological point of view, the dreams are obviously reflective of the wish that life would return to normal. But at such a point as social distancing restrictions lessen and restaurants resume business, both diners and restauranteurs will face a new series of design challenges. When you return to your favorite Italian place you’re likely to discover that there are only tables for two and that they're spread as much as l0 feet apart. In order for you to converse with the friends you've arrived with, you'll have to scream much in the way you do in a normal evening at home when voices start to be raised at the dinner table. The average restaurant in the age of coronavirus is going to be an extremely high-tech noisy establishment filled with Purell dispensers and robotic sanitary devices (windshield wiper-like drones that will scour the handrails and doorknobs) and with a decibel level equivalent to that generated by a deafening NASA launch. Quiet candlelit dinners in quaint little bistros with checkered tablecloths are likely to be a thing of the past, along with the kind of handshakes and bipartite cheek kissing that were part of the normal salutations couples once used as they commenced an evening out on the town.

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